Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

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Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:46 pm

I noted the beginnings of my theories about this in the last thread opened about the Levels, but I thought this deserved its own topic, since it is a very different discussion. That was about whether timing would have improved their chances of success. This is more about a fundamental thing about our understanding of why they were priced so high, had so few episodes, and were ultimately cancelled, with a general perception that they were "too expensive to remaster like that", which I now understand to be a lie...

Here's a screenshot of a recent Japanese TV airing of DBZ episode 251. Japan airs a different video master from what you'll see anywhere else, and it's basically a unique scan of a set of release prints that were presumably owned by Fuji TV. These are good transfers, but there's no cleanup, no colour correction, etc. I'm using this for a very particular reason.
Image

Right at the bottom, you can see one of the famous tape marks (for those unaware: Each scene of Dragon Ball was photographed from the cels and backgrounds individually, and then they stuck each scene's film strip together). Allegedly one reason the Season BDs were so cheap to produce is because the cropping meant these tape marks didn't need to be removed. Similarly, the 30th sets are known for using a fairly small framing area, which some have theorised means these tape marks are gone, which is why they were so easily and cheaply produced...
So, if we look at this shot from the 30th set, we should see the 30th set zoomed in to disguise this, right?

Image

Wrong. It's been painted out. Presumably using information from the previous frame (since the tape marks appear at the bottom of the last frame of every shot, so information from the previous, clean, frame is used to mask it).

See this comparison, which lines up two images exactly. While the TV rip most certainly has a larger framing area, the 30th anniversary set covers the area damaged by the tape mark, very clearly.
Again, the framing of the 30th sets isn't on trial here, the removal of the tape mark is the burning question here.

This definitely isn't a one-off instance, they even painted one instance out that the Dragon Boxes forgot to. (Yes, the DBoxes did occasionally miss a tape mark. It's rare, but it happened)
Furthermore, take a look at this quote from an intervew with Matt O'Hara, a home video lead at Funimation, from the Season BDs:
The software tool allows us to go through frame by frame. So we're using a combination of paint tools, which we refer to as "dust and fix". We have 5 engineers working all the time. This is a process that...just that manual process of going through and evaluating and identifying where there may be a frame that needs to be painted over or we need to borrow some information from another frame and correct a scratch or dust or a blemish on the film. That process can take over a week just for one engineer to work on
Anyone who's seen the Level remastering feature will find this description very familiar. To quote that video:
Christopher Brian wrote:The first filter we use is the dust filter. Because we're working with animated material, the filter's kinda prone to removing stars from the sky, or peoples' pupils, so we have to remove it from specific parts of specific scenes before we send it off to the fix pass.
Brittany Smith wrote:So, after the dust pass, we move on to doing the fix pass, painting out any blemishes, abnormalities, even hairs, blemishes, or bodily fluids... [laughs] Frame by frame, frame by frame, frame by fr-ick-in' frame!
Just basically anything that is abnormal -- tape marks, tape marks, also tape marks, between the scenes.
And it is the most time consuming of all the processes.
So, here's my thesis:
The remastering we saw on the Levels continued on and covered the whole series. The "raw frames" we saw on that blog post that tried to justify the 30th sets were suspiciously clean, and had suspiciously nice colours for a raw film scan of a 30-year-old show. Not even Toei's negatives look this nice (the Dragon Boxes have only very light DNR, no real sharpening, and no colour correction), and yet these are sharp, clear, and nicely-coloured. And, not all the frayed edges of the frames were completely visible... In other words, they look a hell of a lot like the material that is in-progress being cleaned in the above-linked Level remastering feature. In fact, they look far further along in the process than that footage does, as the colours are more refined than what we see in the remastering feature, particularly the brief clips right at the end that show mateial from much later in the series (Post-Level 2.1 material from the Level remastering video, vs Post-Level 2.1 material from the blog post. See also, the WIP Level 2.1 masters from Xbox Live from when Level 1.1 & 1.2 were new, which show a strong yellow cast and a generally washed-out look, same as the Level remastering video's preview moments, not present on the blog post's screenshots. And yet, these are fully cleaned-up; free of any tape marks, etc. So clearly, the cleanup is finished before much of the other filtering is done...).
Furthermore, the "Raw" screenshots from the blog have the same grain amount as the Levels; the raw scans shown in the Level remastering video shows that the grain in the raw scan was in a greater quantity than we saw in the final release (the Xbox episodes appear to have less grain, but that's purely down to the low-bitrate streaming video. It's impossible to tell how the actual video grain level compares to the Levels and the "Raw" screenshots).
So, the conclusion that I have come to is that the "Raws" we saw on the 30th blog post weren't just the raw film scans like most fans initially assumed, these are fully cleaned up. This work was carried out during and before the Season BDs, and the Season BDs simply took these, added strong DNR+sharpening, and cropped it. The 30th sets then took this footage, zoomed it in to approximately the same level as the Dragon Boxes to mask the inconsistent frayed edges of the film frames without having to adjust the framing on a shot-by-shot (or even episode-by-epsiode) basis, and applied strong DNR+sharpening, giving the distinctive, ugly, smeary, low-detail look we know.

As for the Levels... Clearly Funimation are more than capable of carrying out the remastering work we saw in those sets. They've simply elected not to do it, despite constant fan demands.
And it furthermore seems clear to me that, with the low episode counts and very high prices of the Level sets, Funimation were probably playing dirty, trying deliberately to sabotage the sets' release. Why else would they have timed the release so poorly?
Perhaps there's a logic similar to the DBoxes where they're trying to give 4:3 presentation and decent detail/grain preservation a collectible, rare, once-in-a-lifetime perception (the latter now thrown away thanks to the awful 30th sets that they're pitching as "for the hardcore fans"), and the Levels were priced so high and given such small episode counts to keep this perception alive. Or maybe, as we saw from certain Funi representatives who literally said they prefer the look of the show without grain... Maybe they decided they didn't like the grainy look, and that's why they cancelled, even though the entire series exists in a form that could be released as we saw on the Levels...

For the record, the perception that the Levels were priced so high due to high remastering costs is not something I can find a source on. It seems to be a fan-theorised assumption given the high price of the Levels, the low price of the Season BDs, and the sheer lack of clear logic to the layperson in the entire affair.

I can only speculate as to what Funi are thinking, really. But to me, the evidence clearly tells us this: Funi could have released the Levels affordably, well-timed, and with good episode counts, and the 30th anniversary sets could have been a revival of the Levels. But Funimation decided not to give us these things. They have been fully able to do this all along, but have consistently made the conscious decision to not do this (though their reasoning behind this is entirely open to interpretation). There is simply no other reasonable explanation for what we are seeing.

So, that is my conclusion. Thank you for coming to my TedTalk your time.

#ReleaseTheRaws #WTFunimation #BringBackTheLevelSets
Last edited by Robo4900 on Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:32 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by eledoremassis02 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:12 pm

I think the 30th set will not be the last set we'll see from FUNimation, they gotta keep this cow going. I'm just done because I'm not gonna wait till in 40 to get the series in great condition.

I will say tho, FUNimation does need to update their Japanese copy of Z on their streaming site. It's still the Orange bricks with some Dbox episodes thrown in (which makes me wonder if they loopholed that or Dragon Box video wasn't exclusive to the DVD set and could be reproduced *the Z single with the Dbox episode and GT releases could also back this)

But besides that Dragon Ball streams on FUNi using the blue brick masters with Japanese titles cards (an option not available for the DVDs themselves sadly).
Image
But, I was thinking the other day, it's possible TOEI themselves are going to release their own "Dragon Box" bluray set of the series (depending on how well the movies sold) and are going to use FUNimations scan (as that would be the bulk of the work). All they'd have to do is (if they wanted) was scan the 16mm opening and N.E.P and they're good to go. Ofcourse they'd probly DNR it, but all we know is that FUNi has copies with Japanese title cards (the key here) that arent filtered out the wazoo

It's a possibility.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Tylerman29 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:16 pm

Yeah I think it really comes down to a stigma against grain..which is hilarious considering they threw a grain filter on top of the 30th set..why bother doing that instead of just going back to the “raw” ( which you suspect to be essentially the levels). None of it really makes any sense, and I doubt we will ever know the whole story.


PS. I threw on episode 26 of the levels and the same for the 30th and its night and day....it’s so frustrating that such a gorgeous transfer is just sitting on FUNi’s hard drives.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:21 pm

Tylerman29 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:16 pm
Yeah I think it really comes down to a stigma against grain..which is hilarious considering they threw a grain filter on top of the 30th set..why bother doing that instead of just going back to the “raw” ( which you suspect to be essentially the levels). None of it really makes any sense, and I doubt we will ever know the whole story.


PS. I threw on episode 26 of the levels and the same for the 30th and its night and day....it’s so frustrating that such a gorgeous transfer is just sitting on FUNi’s hard drives.
I have no idea, buddy.

All we can do is show our dissatisfaction loudly. I left a few hashtags in the end of my OP, I suggest you take to Twitter and mobilise. Share this thread around. Funimation need to know we won't stand for this shit. Yes, I know we tried this when the 30th sets were first announced... If they think we'll roll over just because some time has passed, they should know that we are still royally pissed off at them dicking us fans over, and we're not gonna stand for this shit.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:12 pm
I think the 30th set will not be the last set we'll see from FUNimation, they gotta keep this cow going. I'm just done because I'm not gonna wait till in 40 to get the series in great condition.
Personally, I'm also done... Done putting up with Funi's shit. They're deliberately putting out an inferior version of the show. There's no excusing it, no justifying it. They're deliberately fucking us over, and I'm not gonna support whatever shitty release they're gonna drop in our laps unless they finally get their shit together.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:12 pm
I will say tho, FUNimation does need to update their Japanese copy of Z on their streaming site. It's still the Orange bricks with some Dbox episodes thrown in (which makes me wonder if they loopholed that or Dragon Box video wasn't exclusive to the DVD set and could be reproduced *the Z single with the Dbox episode and GT releases could also back this)
Incorrect. They use the Season BD master, with Japanese title cards for the Japanese option, and if you watch in Japanese, some episodes towards the end do use the Dragon Box master.
Assuming Funi are considering the 30th set the "for fans only, once in a lifetime special edition" thing or whatever other nonsense they're trying to push with that pile of shit, there's no updating needed. As far as they're concerned, 4:3 is only for the "really hardcore fans", the kind of people who would spend $350 on the only 4:3 release they've put out since the Dragon Boxes.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:12 pm
But, I was thinking the other day, it's possible TOEI themselves are going to release their own "Dragon Box" bluray set of the series (depending on how well the movies sold)
Won't happen. Toei don't care. At best, they'll do an upscale of the DBox masters. Toei have a history with shows like Fist Of The North Star of doing upscales for HD releases of shows from 16mm... On the rare occasion they even bother doing a HD release. Dragon Ball won't be any different. If they planned on doing different, they'd have done it years ago.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:12 pm
and are going to use FUNimations scan (as that would be the bulk of the work). All they'd have to do is (if they wanted) was scan the 16mm opening and N.E.P and they're good to go. Ofcourse they'd probly DNR it, but all we know is that FUNi has copies with Japanese title cards (the key here) that arent filtered out the wazoo

It's a possibility.
In the absolutely zero-chance case that Toei decide to remaster Dragon Ball, they'd do their own scans. Toei generally totally ignore whatever the foreign distributors are doing. They even claim they don't have the textless film reels for their movies, even though AB Groupe and Funimation both have those.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by eledoremassis02 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:54 pm

Tylerman29 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:16 pm
Yeah I think it really comes down to a stigma against grain..which is hilarious considering they threw a grain filter on top of the 30th set..why bother doing that instead of just going back to the “raw” ( which you suspect to be essentially the levels). None of it really makes any sense, and I doubt we will ever know the whole story.


PS. I threw on episode 26 of the levels and the same for the 30th and its night and day....it’s so frustrating that such a gorgeous transfer is just sitting on FUNi’s hard drives.
I think part of the problem is that most of the series is in ''raw'' format and has japanese title cards. So they took the easy rout and accessed the Season Bluray remaster and changed the font on the already made english title cards (whats their obsession with changing the font lol). The fake grain was, i susspect with the different colors) was a way to hide the fact this was the same master.
Over the last week I checked episides from the saiyan, frieza, trunks and buu and they're all obviously orange brick masters outside buu wich was dragon box. Just checked the episode when piccolo took gohan and that even had the bad interlace issue their ''comparison'' showed on the season bluray extra.
Image
The subtitles are also hardcoded and appear to be the same copy they had on HULU has(d?) which were orange bricks whereas Dragon Ball as separate subtitle files (Hulu's Dragon ball in Japanese did have Japanese title cards with the Japanese audio but it also had burned hardcoded subtitles like shown above)
Why not? Toei took the time too scan the movies and edit them when they could have upscaled the movies easily. Funimation did all the hard work with their own money so TOEI could easily take them. Ofcourse we wont know until they do or dont relase the series on bluray but almost everything is speculation anyways.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:44 pm

eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:54 pm
Over the last week I checked episides from the saiyan, frieza, trunks and buu and they're all obviously orange brick masters outside buu wich was dragon box. Just checked the episode when piccolo took gohan and that even had the bad interlace issue their ''comparison'' showed on the season bluray extra.
[snip]
The subtitles are also hardcoded and appear to be the same copy they had on HULU has(d?) which were orange bricks whereas Dragon Ball as separate subtitle files (Hulu's Dragon ball in Japanese did have Japanese title cards with the Japanese audio but it also had burned hardcoded subtitles like shown above)
Interesting.
I guess my information comes from people who watched it dubbed. That's rather interesting. Not even the HD Orange Brick scan, literally just the Orange Brick master? That's interesting.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:54 pm
Why not? Toei took the time too scan the movies and edit them when they could have upscaled the movies easily. Funimation did all the hard work with their own money so TOEI could easily take them. Ofcourse we wont know until they do or dont relase the series on bluray but almost everything is speculation anyways.
The movies are 35mm, the series is 16mm. Toei generally prefers to upscale shows shot on 16mm from standard-def transfers, rather than re-scan them in HD.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:01 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:44 pm
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:54 pm
Over the last week I checked episides from the saiyan, frieza, trunks and buu and they're all obviously orange brick masters outside buu wich was dragon box. Just checked the episode when piccolo took gohan and that even had the bad interlace issue their ''comparison'' showed on the season bluray extra.
[snip]
The subtitles are also hardcoded and appear to be the same copy they had on HULU has(d?) which were orange bricks whereas Dragon Ball as separate subtitle files (Hulu's Dragon ball in Japanese did have Japanese title cards with the Japanese audio but it also had burned hardcoded subtitles like shown above)
Interesting.
I guess my information comes from people who watched it dubbed. That's rather interesting. Not even the HD Orange Brick scan, literally just the Orange Brick master? That's interesting.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:54 pm
Why not? Toei took the time too scan the movies and edit them when they could have upscaled the movies easily. Funimation did all the hard work with their own money so TOEI could easily take them. Ofcourse we wont know until they do or dont relase the series on bluray but almost everything is speculation anyways.
The movies are 35mm, the series is 16mm. Toei generally prefers to upscale shows shot on 16mm from standard-def transfers, rather than re-scan them in HD.
I wouldn't really expect for them to go back and rescan the series either, it would probably most likely be done as SD on Blu-ray upscales of the Dragon Box masters and not a true HD scan of the film prints if i'd have to guess. Of course, it would be great because the former are pushing almost 17 years old even though i maintain that they are much better even if not overwhelmingly so than all of FUNi's releases sourced from their third generation copy film masters
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by eledoremassis02 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:04 pm

The dub is, in fact, the season bluray.
Thats true, but considering TOEI didnt even scan all of Z for kai in HD and FUNi does have access to decent looking raw scans, TOEI would be stupid not to take them. Tho I guess TOEI can and has been as stupid.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by jaisonas » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 am

The "Raw" pictures from Funi's blog post are most certainly not raw, especially if they used the same transfer (steve's transfer) from the Level sets. The Level transfer has a very natural colour hue as pictured in this pic you posted compared to the funi classic red/blue hues of the processed raws
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by VDenter » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:56 am

So basically Funimation could release the entire series with a Level Set like quality with no additional cost since the the remastering work is already done, but they have decided not to. Sounds like a very Funimation decision to me.

Essentially all these episode's are just sitting on someone's hard drive in perfect condition waiting to be released.

For what it's worth Funimation has to be completely aware of what went wrong with the 30th anniversary set and why everyone is complaining about them and what the hardcore fans want. Now it is just a case of will they chose to satisfy the demand or not. I'm going to guess it will take a few more years but we will see another DBZ release from the eventually. (35th anniversary) I just hope none of them at Funimation calling the shots are brainless enough to forget what went wrong with this set when they decide to put out another one.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by KBABZ » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:19 pm

VDenter wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:56 am
For what it's worth Funimation has to be completely aware of what went wrong with the 30th anniversary set and why everyone is complaining about them and what the hardcore fans want. Now it is just a case of will they chose to satisfy the demand or not. I'm going to guess it will take a few more years but we will see another DBZ release from the eventually. (35th anniversary) I just hope none of them at Funimation calling the shots are brainless enough to forget what went wrong with this set when they decide to put out another one.
It isn't anything they haven't gotten flak for before with the Orange Bricks and Blu-Ray Seasons. At this point it's willful ignorance.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:08 pm

VDenter wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:56 am
So basically Funimation could release the entire series with a Level Set like quality with no additional cost since the the remastering work is already done, but they have decided not to. Sounds like a very Funimation decision to me.

Essentially all these episode's are just sitting on someone's hard drive in perfect condition waiting to be released.
Yes, that is exactly what I'm getting at.

So, the "#ReleaseTheRaws" demands from fans aren't unreasonable. Funi could do this at any time. They have deliberately chosen not to. But they have no logical, good-faith reason not to. So enough fan pressure could, in theory, get them to do something right. Could take a long-ass time, but it'll be more than worth it, if it gives us what we want, in the end.
VDenter wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:56 am
For what it's worth Funimation has to be completely aware of what went wrong with the 30th anniversary set and why everyone is complaining about them and what the hardcore fans want. Now it is just a case of will they chose to satisfy the demand or not. I'm going to guess it will take a few more years but we will see another DBZ release from the eventually. (35th anniversary) I just hope none of them at Funimation calling the shots are brainless enough to forget what went wrong with this set when they decide to put out another one.
I dunno. I don't think Funi want to give us what we want. I think all we can do is spread the word of all this, keep tweeting with the #ReleaseTheRaws hashtag (maybe something like #WTFunimation too?), and make it known that we won't stand for their shit. And the fact the 30th anniversary sets only barely crawled their way up to 4.5k sales during the month-long window is emblematic of that. Dragon Ball isn't a hard sell, but Funi fucked it up, and we're not buying what they're selling. Literally.
KBABZ wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:19 pm
It isn't anything they haven't gotten flak for before with the Orange Bricks and Blu-Ray Seasons. At this point it's willful ignorance.
Yep.
All we can do is try to shout as loud as we can. Make it the same as the Star Wars fandom's "Han shot first"; "Release the raws!"

The problem with the flak for the OBs and BDs is that it was mostly just internal complaints. Hardcore fans talk about how much the OBs suck. "#ReleaseTheRaws" should be a universal thing in the Dragon Ball fandom. Everyone should know that these gorgeous HD remasters are just sitting in Funi's archives, and they could release them at any time, they're just choosing not to. Choosing to deprive us of this.

In 2014, fans were just tired. In 2007, internet connectivity wasn't quite what it would become.
It's 2019 now. Everyone is angry, and making your voice heard is easier than ever.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:25 pm

That's what really gets me most about all of this crap, the fact that FUNi is indeed capable of making a legit good release from the masters they have but rather intentionally choose to do things as cheap and quickly as possible by DNR'ing the footage to oblivion and over processing which in turn results in a mediocre to terrible product video quality wise as most of their releases from the last 10+ years (Dragon Boxes and Level sets aside) have showed us.

It really sucks that they choose not to just do it right, and the 30th BD set is just another example for the pile.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:45 pm

SuperSaiyaManZ94 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:25 pm
That's what really gets me most about all of this crap, the fact that FUNi is indeed capable of making a legit good release from the masters they have but rather intentionally choose to do things as cheap and quickly as possible by DNR'ing the footage to oblivion and over processing which in turn results in a mediocre to terrible product video quality wise as most of their releases from the last 10+ years (Dragon Boxes and Level sets aside) have showed us.
Incorrect. DNRing the footage isn't them doing a quick cheap release -- the footage is ready to release in the same format as the Levels, for the entire series. They have simply chosen not to release the show in that form, and instead to take their Level-ready masters and DNR+oversharpen them for the current releases.

They could give us the Levels, they could have made the 30th sets a revival of the Levels for the same amount of money, or less, as they spent on making the 30th sets, but they made the conscious decision to not do that.
And they could have released the Levels as 40-episode volumes for $20 each, like they did with the Season BDs. But they made the conscious decision to not do that. Instead, they released the Levels at high prices with small episode counts, then canned them, then in 2014, they took the Level-ready masters, DNR'd+oversharpened them, cropped them, screwed the colour grading, and released that as the Season BDs. This isn't a case of them just doing that for the first ~40 episodes and then doing a cheap remaster of the remaining material, this is a case of them having Level-ready masters for all 291 episodes and adding ugly, irrecoverably-picture-ruining filtering on top of that, which ruins them.

This isn't them cheaping out, this is them making a deliberate choice. That is the point I'm making in the OP. Read it through again if you're not quite getting it; it's a lot to take in, and I didn't write it in the most concise way. But the evidence is all there, it's all quite plain to see once it's laid out for you.
SuperSaiyaManZ94 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:25 pm
It really sucks that they choose not to just do it right, and the 30th BD set is just another example for the pile.
Yep. It's terrible. Almost like they just hate their fans or something.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by XanatosVanBadass » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:59 am

KBABZ wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:19 pm
VDenter wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:56 am
For what it's worth Funimation has to be completely aware of what went wrong with the 30th anniversary set and why everyone is complaining about them and what the hardcore fans want. Now it is just a case of will they chose to satisfy the demand or not. I'm going to guess it will take a few more years but we will see another DBZ release from the eventually. (35th anniversary) I just hope none of them at Funimation calling the shots are brainless enough to forget what went wrong with this set when they decide to put out another one.
It isn't anything they haven't gotten flak for before with the Orange Bricks and Blu-Ray Seasons. At this point it's willful ignorance.
That’s the sad thing. They didn’t get that muck flak for the orange bricks beyond places like this. The majority of American Dragon Ball fans lapped them up like the rubes they are. It’s pathetic.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by jaisonas » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:08 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:45 pm
SuperSaiyaManZ94 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:25 pm
That's what really gets me most about all of this crap, the fact that FUNi is indeed capable of making a legit good release from the masters they have but rather intentionally choose to do things as cheap and quickly as possible by DNR'ing the footage to oblivion and over processing which in turn results in a mediocre to terrible product video quality wise as most of their releases from the last 10+ years (Dragon Boxes and Level sets aside) have showed us.
Incorrect. DNRing the footage isn't them doing a quick cheap release -- the footage is ready to release in the same format as the Levels, for the entire series. They have simply chosen not to release the show in that form, and instead to take their Level-ready masters and DNR+oversharpen them for the current releases.

They could give us the Levels, they could have made the 30th sets a revival of the Levels for the same amount of money, or less, as they spent on making the 30th sets, but they made the conscious decision to not do that.
And they could have released the Levels as 40-episode volumes for $20 each, like they did with the Season BDs. But they made the conscious decision to not do that. Instead, they released the Levels at high prices with small episode counts, then canned them, then in 2014, they took the Level-ready masters, DNR'd+oversharpened them, cropped them, screwed the colour grading, and released that as the Season BDs. This isn't a case of them just doing that for the first ~40 episodes and then doing a cheap remaster of the remaining material, this is a case of them having Level-ready masters for all 291 episodes and adding ugly, irrecoverably-picture-ruining filtering on top of that, which ruins them.

This isn't them cheaping out, this is them making a deliberate choice. That is the point I'm making in the OP. Read it through again if you're not quite getting it; it's a lot to take in, and I didn't write it in the most concise way. But the evidence is all there, it's all quite plain to see once it's laid out for you.
SuperSaiyaManZ94 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:25 pm
It really sucks that they choose not to just do it right, and the 30th BD set is just another example for the pile.
Yep. It's terrible. Almost like they just hate their fans or something.
This is actually them cheeping out tho.
The grained footage requires atleast twice the bitrate to look good compared to the DNR'ed one. There is a lot of cost saving with using DNR and therefore a lot less disks/episodes.
Also known as "[EncoderAnon] and his shitty HxH encode"

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by SpiritBombTriumphant » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:59 am

This is very interesting stuff, but it isn't 100% definitive proof. And as much as I wish it wasn't the case, a few people (less than 100 or even 50) aren't going to change Funi's minds on Twitter with a hashtag based on a theory. Funimation didn't give a shit about the green tint on Broly. They didn't bother telling us on Twitter they were going to see if there was an issue with what they received from Toei (MangaUK checked), they didn't ask Toei for a proper copy, they haven't fixed the issue as of this post in newly made BDs or the digital version on Microsoft, iTunes, etc. They simply don't give a shit.

So yeah, a few people tweeting about something that has no true evidence won't make a difference. It'd be amazing if you were right with all this though.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:00 am

SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:59 am
This is very interesting stuff, but it isn't 100% definitive proof. And as much as I wish it wasn't the case, a few people (less than 100 or even 50) aren't going to change Funi's minds on Twitter with a hashtag based on a theory.
It's beyond a theory at this point. They clearly removed tape marks and such manually, they clearly wouldn't have done that for this cheaped-out 30th set, and the "Raw" screenshots are clearly tampered with. And again, they apparently had "five engineers" working long hours on each episode to remove all the dirt, marks, etc. according to the Season BD feature. So clearly a proper remaster was done on their footage, in the same way we saw on the Levels.

And useless talk of "it's not gonna change any minds" is how we ended up where we are now: Where the Orange Bricks and Season BDs are widely accepted, with only the hardcore fans complaining, and only to each-other.
Not only do you lose nothing by trying, but by doubting and talking about "It'll never happen", you're -- to put it bluntly, and I admit somewhat harshly -- being selfish. You're deciding that, because you personally don't think it's likely to make an impact, you don't think it's worth it to even try for a better situation.

Realistically, though, you are right in that we're not likely to change Funi's minds just by sending out some tweets. But that's not what I'm saying we should do anyway.

Here's what I say: Send out some Tweets. Post comments on YouTube videos. Realistically, we're not gonna get Funi to backtrack in the next few years. But, what we can do, is -- as the hardcore fans who are knowledgeable on this all -- if we ensure it's practically a running joke in the fandom that Funi's releases are all deliberately shit, and they could have given us a good release any time in the past ~decade, it'll become common knowledge. General wisdom will be "They could do this properly, they're just choosing not to."

Even though we're not a lot of voices, if it's clear that Funi are holding back the good stuff, deliberately and maliciously, then the general perception will back us up next time there's talk of a new release.
Maybe Funi still releases it shittily next time. But at least then, if it's common knowledge they could have done it properly all along, the backlash would at least be larger, and maybe next time they try to sell us some $350 shit, they don't manage 4.5k sales.

And even if our efforts never ultimately succeed: Again, we'll have lost nothing by trying.
Meanwhile, by not trying, we're giving up on any chance of us ever suceeding.

SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:59 am
It'd be amazing if you were right with all this though.
In my mind, there's no room for doubt in this. It's very obvious the "Raw" screenshots are properly remastered footage, it's very clear the 30th sets have all tape marks, film damage, etc. properly painted out in much the same manner as we saw on the Levels, so by Occam's razor, it's very obvious what's gone on.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by ABED » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:09 am

Robo, you are putting this issue on the same level as fighting for individual liberties. This isn't remotely like that. It's a crappy home video release, that's it. Lamentable to be sure, but to effectively call someone "selfish" shows a lack of perspective.

You say FUNi is maliciously holding back on giving a good quality release, but what do they gain?
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:48 am

ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:09 am
Robo, you are putting this issue on the same level as fighting for individual liberties. This isn't remotely like that. It's a crappy home video release, that's it. Lamentable to be sure, but to effectively call someone "selfish" shows a lack of perspective.

You say FUNi is maliciously holding back on giving a good quality release, but what do they gain?
Respectfully, this is about the most frustrating response to this I've received so far.

Yes, I'm aware there are more important issues than this. But making a Tweet or two to finally get a home release of this classic show that isn't shit? That's too much to ask? That's me being unreasonable? That's me lacking perspective?

Sir, I would argue you lack perspective. This isn't just Dragon Ball, remember. Disney's movies, Cowboy Bebop, and much more, are having their historical significance trampled on, and the desires of the hardcore fans being given a middle finger. Not in service of a cheaper release, or marketing to the plebs -- the layperson doesn't give a shit about grain or cropping either way, they just want that show they remember from a while back to watch -- so, to refer to your second point, clearly Funi had nothing to gain from doing this their way, therefore they had no reason not to do it properly, therefore whether they intended malice or not, their attitudes are abhorrent, their respect for the show and its fans is zilch, and they deserve nothing less than for the entire fandom to be aware that all these shitty releases were shitty for no reason. And as we saw with things like the James Gunn fiasco (both the firing, and the eventual re-hiring), it doesn't take a majority of an audience to get shit done, it just takes enough internet complaining to make the company get a little uncomfortable, for better or for worse...

So, yes. Deciding that the few minutes it would take to make a Tweet or two isn't worth it, is selfish. It shows that one is unwilling to do anything to improve their situation. Yes, this is "Just" a TV show. But in my opinion, if a company is treating its fans like shit, treating a landmark show like this like shit, outright lying, and showing malicious attitudes, presenting releases that ultimately turn the fans against each-other in a toxic way (which the 30th sets were precision-engineered to do; anyone who buys the sets are doing wrong because they're supporting a shit release, anyone who doesn't buy the sets are doing wrong because they're not supporting the first 4:3 release in a decade. We've all seen the fallout from this)...

I think, given all I've laid out, this is worth at least a Tweet or two. Especially since it would actually take less effort than arguing about it, or even making a single somewhat-dismissive post about it, here on Kanzenshuu.

---

I realise this post is already far longer than it should be, but I'd like to take this opportunity here to acknowledge a limitation of myself, and my presence on this forum, and online in general, since I think this may already be an issue: I am not very good at speaking passionately online without sounding angry. I try, and I think I've got better at it, but I'm still not great. And when I disagree with people in such situations, I can often come off as quite mean. I'd like anyone reading to please understand that this is never my intention. I'm just trying to argue my side truthfully, honestly, and convincingly. I truly believe everything I'm saying here, and I am truly angry that Funi have had 20 years to get this right, and yet there's still not a single release of this bloody show that I wouldn't call a pile of un-buyable shit (and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest). They could have done it at any point, and made countless people (myself included) very happy, and done away with, I'll be honest, some real stress about the fact I can't legally enjoy this show. It's impossible. These shitty releases, I just straight-up can't enjoy watching them. I'd just spend every moment cringing at how bad it looks. And in the depressing world we live in, not having this show to enjoy, this thing that has always been present in my life, always able to bring a smile to my face, always able to lighten me up in a dark moment? That's bullshit.

... So, to bring this semi-stream-of-consciousness... Rant? (For lack of a better term) To an end, I would like to apologise if I've upset anyone by asserting my views as strongly as I often end up doing. Please do not hesitate to call me out if I've been mean, I honestly don't want to make anyone feel unwelcome or uncomfortable interacting with me, and I would like to apologise if I have done so. Counter to precisely what I was just talking about, this is ultimately a TV show, and it's not worth being mean to anyone speaking in good faith, over this.
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